Covid-19: CITB chief exec update – 23 June 2020


Good afternoon,

Today’s email includes news of our new CITB eCourses and the results of recent surveys of employers and training providers – research like this guides our decision-making as to support for industry at this time.

I would also like to mention that today is International Women In Engineering Day, which we mark with two case studies on our Go Construct hub to help address this.

In construction, we miss out on talent and the benefits a more diverse workforce brings, because people don’t see it as a career of choice, and this includes a failure to attract more women.

CITB eCourses

We are committed to working with you to provide the skills and training needed, now and into the future. To meet industry needs, and in response to research conducted before the current crisis, CITB has launched an online eLearning solution – CITB eCourses.

These allow employees, unable to access to traditional training, to learn at their own pace, anytime, anywhere. All you need is a computer and a few hours to study and take the exam.

Tutor-led training will continue to be the main delivery method, with eCourses providing an additional option ensuring that qualifications are not a barrier to your business or getting back to work.

The first eCourse available is our Site Safety Plus: Health & Safety Awareness course, which can be used to support applications for the CSCS labourer’s card, once the course and exam have been successfully completed.

You can find more information here.

Our network of Site Safety Plus training providers continue to offer a full suite of SSP courses, with classroom and remote delivery options available. For a list of courses and providers you can use the course locator tool.

Surveys of employers and training providers

In May and June, CITB spoke to 552 employers of all sizes from across the sector, as well as 249 training providers. I’d like to thank all those for taking part.

Amid the pandemic, 77% of construction companies still regard retaining and recruiting skilled staff as a priority, with 34% planning to take on new apprentices in the next 12 months and 73% were confident their apprentices will complete training. We will continue to work with companies to help them see as many apprentices as possible complete their apprenticeship and play their part in the skilled construction workforce.

Remote training is also being delivered by 55% of providers, while more than 2,500 learners have completed Site Safety Plus courses this way. A total of 49% of providers were extremely confident of restarting a full training programme, with 31% somewhat confident.

These findings show the impact COVID-19 has had on the sector, and that a lot of support will be needed in future. CITB has taken several significant measures so far to help industry. We will announce the next phase later this week in a Skills Stability Plan.

International Women In Engineering Day 

To help mark International Women In Engineering Day today I’d like to introduce you to Mimi-Isabella Nwosu and Tolu Egberongbe, role models who tell their story of why construction is such an exciting and ever-changing industry to work in. Embedding Fairness, Inclusion and Respect is not only right for industry, in having a more inclusive, representative and productive workforce, but it’s also better for business.

CITB’s COVID-19 Urgent Messages page is refreshed daily and includes updates on the full range of our work.

You can also read the range of support measures made available to UK businesses and employees by the UK Government.

I would like to wish you, your colleagues and family a safe and pleasant week ahead. My next update will be on Thursday.

Kind wishes

Sarah Beale
Chief Executive